This is the next post in a very exciting series we’re bringing to you on IFB in anticipation of the upcoming #IFBcon. Each day in the month of August, we’ll have a different post designed to help your blog become – you guessed it – bigger, better and bolder.
Trust is one of the most important components in a blogger-to-reader relationship. As authors, we need to build that trust with honest writing, and as style and fashion bloggers that type of honesty often comes with a personal side. We share pieces of ourselves, our lives, our bodies and our tastes in our posts. Ideally, followers and readers come to our sites not only because they value our opinion, but because they believe it, too.
When you're first getting started as a blogger, establishing this trust from the beginning is critical. It's also a perfect time, because you're fresh, un-jaded (hopefully none of us are too jaded yet) and eager to share. Whether you're a seasoned blogger or just a few days in, a product review (of a non-gifted item) is a smart way to invite your readers to trust you.
Why a non-gifted item? Well, sure, you can honestly review a gifted item – and many bloggers do. However, giving your thoughts, either positive or negative, on an item or product you purchased yourself goes just a bit further in building credibility with your audience.
Think about the way we online shop these days. We find an item we like, check out the images and description then scroll straight down to read the reviews. We want the opinions of others, we want to know about someone else's experience before making our purchasing decision. As a blogger you have the power to be a voice of influence to consumers. With this platform as well as social media, you have the ability to amplify your review far beyond a retailer's site.
When the item is gifted…
Receiving gifted items will become a natural part of blog growth for some. When this happens, it makes sense to do reviews and there's no reason that you should lose the trust of your readers because an item was sent to you. (It's helpful to have a disclosure clause somewhere on your blog when you are including gifted items in your content.)
For Eat, Sleep, Denim, I review gifted, purchased-and-returned denim (from the site's sponsor, Shopbop.com) as well as denim I've purchased personally. By giving honest and detailed information about each pair (as well as where they come from), I've been able to maintain credibility with ESD's readers. I have not loved every pair of jeans or every denim item I've worn on the site, and I'm clear about my real opinions in each post.
Here are some quick tips and points to touch on when reviewing something on your blog:
- Include at least one image, either from the retailer, or better yet, on your body!
- If it's a clothing item, include the size you purchased, and how it compares to other items from that brand or in that size.
- Talk about the fit in as much descriptive detail as you can (and perhaps include fabric make-up (cotton, Lycra, silk, etc)).
- If it's a beauty or hair item, provide important or interesting ingredient information (all-natural, organic, hypo-allergenic, etc).
- Maintain your personality in your review – use storytelling or anecdotes.
- Include pricing details and link out to where readers can purchase the item (perhaps using your affiliate links!).
Do you incorporate reviews into your blog content? How do your readers respond? Share your experience and best tips in the comments.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock]
To get your tickets, head to the Eventbrite page and buy either:
Regular One-Day Pass: $125
Regular Two-Day Pass: $185
Corporate/Non-IFB Member Tickets: $600